The dandelion gets a bad rap.
I know. It’s a weed. But it’s a nice weed. Beautiful—for a while—and it’s edible. Get your vitamins!
When I was a child, fields of yellow dandelions enchanted me. The expanse reminded me of the poppies in the Wizard of Oz movie. Once dandelions reached puffball stage in my back yard, I spent hours breaking off their stems one at a time, examining the milk inside, blowing on the puffballs, and watching them sail away in the wind. Delightful.
My father didn’t agree.
As I grew older, Dad had me weed the lawn by digging up the dandelions I had helped plant the year before. I doubt I ever succeeded in pulling out the entire root of even one flower. Those taproots would not—let—go. I ended up with dozens of holes in the yard where a happy little plant soon sprouted once again.
Other beautiful weeds, I’m not so thrilled about.
I had to learn the hard way. Twice. And this happened well beyond childhood!
One summer, I noticed tiny, wild strawberries growing under our hedge surrounding the patio. How charming. I popped a bright red berry in my mouth. A little tart, but the sparrows loved them. Two summers later, those vines had begun to choke the mature hedge! Since underground runners spread in every direction, no amount of weeding got rid of them. We finally sprayed the area with a pesticide that wouldn’t hurt the hedge. The sparrows seem to have forgiven me.
A couple of years ago, I noticed small purple flowers dotting our lawn. When the lawn care company came to spray for dandelions (alas, my husband likes dandelions even less than my father), the guy told me those innocent purple flowers were wild violets. And he proceeded to spray them to death.
The next year, those precious little violets returned. They’d even managed to seed themselves along the border of my flowerbed adjacent to the front walk. Good, I thought. The lawn care guy never sprays my flowers. I’ll have a beautiful, purple border.
Well, they got a little rambunctious. I had to pull them away from the asters. Easy to do. The roots were shallow.
This year, they didn’t stay little. They nearly strangled my lilies. They needed some tough love. As I dug into the earth to completely remove them from the flowerbed, I realized they had runners heading everywhere. Just like the strawberries.
I will be discussing my options with the lawn care guy.
Not all weeds are equal.
And not all behaviors glorify God. If I were to grow in faith the same way a wild violet grows, I would be running amok. Sure, I’d be sharing Christ with every person I met, with no sense of discrimination in handling the various personalities and lifestyles unique to each of them. My fruit would be tart, and the beauty I had to share would grow unwieldy, choking off the sustenance of the true Word of God. If times got tough, my shallow roots would be easily yanked out by the enemy.
But if I could grow like a dandelion?
I would bloom in the sunshine of God’s love and share that beauty with others. My roots in the Word would grow deep. People who didn’t want to hear the Gospel could cut me off, but they couldn’t kill my solidly-anchored taproot. I would be tenacious and sprout once again.
Like the dandelion, my faith could provide sustenance to anyone who wanted it. And as I grew old, the flower might fade, but the mature puffball would be full of life-giving seeds, and I would be the spiritual mother of many new and beautiful flowers. Maybe an entire field of them.
Yes. I want to be a dandelion.
Linda, this is such a wonderful analogy! And it’s about flowers, which are pretty much my favorite thing. Thanks for sharing these insights, not to mention the charming reminder to “bloom where I’m planted!”
Thank you, Jan. Combining prayers for inspiration and freewriting can bring fun results!
Linda, I look forward to reading your writing! You have such a command of our language. Keep on writing!
Chris, you have the gift of encouragement! Thank you!
Love this! I want to be like a dandelion and spread the word of God everywhere.
That’s pretty much the way I look at a field of dandelions, Melissa! Thank you.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts & your talents. If everyone were as gifted, what a wonderful world this would be. As for the dandelions and all the other magical flowers that look so innocent & pretty, I just finished my front yard with my hubby, escorting those cute little bundles to a place where they may start a new adventure.
Thank you, Susan. And I realize that even the dandelions aren’t welcome when you want an emerald green carpet for the yard.
A Master Gardener once told me a weed is merely a plant growing where you don’t want it! What we call weeds someone else calls wildflowers.
So yes, I’d like to grow like a dandelion, too!
I’m sure you’re right! I read somewhere that colonists brought dandelions over from England.
I’ve always loved dandelions! And I really appreciate the point about mature dandelions, whose flower might fade, but they help produce new dandelions through their puffball. God bless you!
Thank you, Jessica. Maybe I like dandelions even more now that I’ve begun the puffball stage of life!
I really enjoyed this blog because I’ve wrestled with weeds all my life. I try to be kind to them, but they take advantage of me. Think there’s a relational analogy there, too. LOVED this blog.
Wow! TWO extended analogies from dandelions! (See Melinda’s below.)
I’m with you in all things garden it’s hard to want to uproot those weeds that make such glorious yellow in the spring. Plus, anything purple, in my mind’s eye, gets a pass, domestic or weed. Yellow and purple soothe our souls., perhaps a foreshadowing of Jesus glowing yellow as the sun while being clad in royal purple when He comes. Our hearts yearn for this. Hence, the springtime reminder.
Melinda, I love how you’ve extended the analogy!
Your colorful post brought the analogy to the forefront of this discussion, Linda. From there, the foreshadowing of Jesus became clear and evident.
I love the violets, but I’m not a fan of dandelions. Even so, I love your comparison. Thanks and God bless!
Thank you, Nancy. Obviously, I love violets, too, but have you dealt with them in your yard??
This is a powerful spiritual analogy. I especially liked this, “My roots in the Word would grow deep. People who didn’t want to hear the Gospel could cut me off, but they couldn’t kill my solidly-anchored taproot. I would be tenacious and sprout once again.”
Thank you, Karen. And isn’t that what our Christian journey is all about? Persistence until we are Home.